A Spaceman Came Travelling

A spaceman came travelling on his ship from afar,
‘Twas light years of time since his mission did start,
And over a village he halted his craft,
And it hung in the sky like a star, just like a star.

Here’s the moany bit.

I am exhausted.

It’s been a absolutely terrible year for my first year as Club Captain. At Tewkesbury Athletics Club it was largely a ceremonial and totally pointless role. Here at Burnham-on-Sea Harriers the role is more involved as the Captain picks out the Club Run Route on Tuesdays and the supportive element at races is greater. But, what if there’s no races and groups have to be organised in smaller groups because of a world wide pandemic?

Everything is so 21st century. Boxes must be ticked and absolutely right. I must ensure our runners and Run Leaders are perfectly safe on club runs. Coronavirus protocols must be adhered to as well as social distancing. Our elder and vulnerable Run Leaders and members must be protected and, yet, encouraged to run and keep active.

John Lennon sang about the thoughts of a future year at Christmas and New Year. And so this is Christmas and what have you done? Another year ended and new one just begun. 2020 and it seems as appropriate as ever. Some have managed the odd race here and there and some triathlons have been going ahead but I haven’t raced since mid March and I’m p*ssed off and frustrated. So this is Christmas, And what have you done, Another year over,
And a new one just begun. What have I done??? Nothing. Building base miles, building a secure foundation that specialist training might grow from, but why with no competition? All it’s gave me is a sore knee.

I was relieved I was able to run the Grizzly, a 19 mile off road race, even though most of it was ankle deep mud but it would have been pleasant to have other races, and I fully understand the reasons for cancelling those races. Next year’s Grizzly is scheduled for October and that will pose lesser problems. Surely running in fresh air poses a smaller risk than competing indoors with no adequate ventilation.

Back to more moaning. It has been very hard thinking of things to try and encourage our members to get out and run. Thankfully, Kelly and her colour collage and Victoria with her Christmas star search have been a brilliant boost and superb challenge for our guys. The spot the Harrier challenge was also successful back in the Spring during the first lockdown and the Virtual Friday Pub Quiz has been fun and I hope you’re all still doing your planks and squats.

Everybody has suffered in some way this year, and just not racing or running. Everyone has paid a personal price for this year. Visits that can’t be made this Christmas, family we will be estranged from, places at tables that won’t be sat at, the inestimable price to the economy and our mental health.

So, next year. I can’t see much ‘racing’ only time trials and virtual races until April at the earliest. Park run, who knows! But at least it’s encouraged some to get out and run a different route.

I do have an ambition for 2021. I have ran 12 marathons but I need to run a post cancer marathon. It would mean so very much to me to do it. Just to prove that cancer patients can return and compete, but most importantly, to ease my mind. to know I can be up to a level again. I know I have nothing to prove but I have something to prove to myself. I need to know I can achieve this and it burns deep.

My phone is on charge right now and as it charges pictures from the year come up on it’s broken screen. Pictures of smiley selfies, of small groups of us running, of sunsets. Brighter things from the past for our future.

So, please everybody, have a brilliant Christmas and New Year. My thoughts are with you all and your family and I truly wish things may get to some sort of normality soon and stay safe. Here’s to 2021 and a brave new future. Make some great resolutions and may they come true.

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